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Enchanting Tapestry of Kerala

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The tagline personifies the actual experience of visiting and living in this verdant land in the southwestern part of India, flanked by the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea in the west and the Indian Ocean in the south. Kerala is rich with culture, heritage, and vegetation, and it became the first Indian state to claim 100% literacy. Its life expectancy rates are among the highest in India.

Kerala, as a state in independent India, was set up as recently as 1956 with the merger of three independent provinces. It was united on a linguistic basis with Malayalam, the language spoken by the people of the state. Thus, November 1 is celebrated as Kerala Day or Kerala Piravi. However, in myth and legend, there are many stories related to its creation. Parasuram, an avatar of Vishnu, is known to have plunged his axe into the Indian Ocean to pull out the piece of land. Vasuki, the snake blessed with a holy spirit, then formed a fertile evergreen topography that to this date provides an abundant supply of spices, coconuts, rice, and rubber for its people.

Kerala and Sri Lanka have deep and rich historical, cultural, and filial engagements over the centuries. These reflections are evident in the similarities in food. Appa and pittu (appam and puttu in Kerala) either came from Kerala to Sri Lanka or vice versa. Its martial art form, Kalaripayattu, is quite similar to Sri Lanka’s Angampora. The famous Trissur Puram that happens in May is a festivity similar to the Perahera, where caparisoned elephants, accompanied by music and fireworks, make a grand procession at the Vaddakunnathan temple. Kathakali and Mohiniyattam are well-known dance forms. The snake boat races during Onam, the harvest festival, are unique to the state. The Kerala Samajam of Sri Lanka is a society set up in 1959 in Sri Lanka as a forum for Keralites living in Sri Lanka to meet, express themselves, and celebrate various festivals, with Onam being its biggest cultural event. The Kerala Samajam has also engaged itself meaningfully in the local Sri Lankan community by contributing through several social welfare programs and has remained apolitical throughout its existence. Its members have contributed immensely in the areas of business, education, and healthcare in Sri Lanka.

As doctors, engineers, teachers, entrepreneurs, and other professionals, they have been at the forefront of the health and prosperity of this country.

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